Report quantifies frustration with mobile reception on UK trains

August 17, 2017 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Cobham Wireless reports, based on a national survey, that commuters are frustrated with the state of mobile signal reception on train journeys up and down the UK.

The results of a national online survey indicate that 52% of passengers are prevented from working some of the time during their commute, potentially stopping them from being able to check emails, stay in touch with clients and colleagues or access files remotely.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, which polled over 2,000 consumers across Britain revealed passengers’ frustrations about the lack of mobile connectivity during their commute or business trip, which was preventing them from working on train journeys. The survey canvassed the opinions of commuters that use train routes throughout the UK, with half of their journeys lasting longer than 30 minutes.

Despite the option to use Wi-Fi on some train services the results of the survey clearly indicated a strong preference among respondents (51%) to connecting to the internet via their mobile provider compared to connecting to a public Wi-Fi network (36%). When asked why they prefer to connect to the internet using their mobile service, a resounding 63% expressed concerns about the security of Wi-Fi networks on trains; also 41% disliked having to share personal information to connect to train Wi-Fi.

The survey also revealed that the quality of mobile phone reception on trains up and down the UK varies.

  • Only 33% of passengers felt that mobile signal reception was good enough to connect them to the internet.
  • Up to a quarter (24%) didn’t rate their service at all, stating that mobile phone coverage was poor.

Even train Wi-Fi doesn’t make the grade:

  • Only 13% of commuters stating that the service was any good.
  • Another 22% stated that Wi-Fi wasn’t available at all on their train route.